Next week, one of the biggest video games of the year, Titanfall, will be released. Except, as it turns out, in South America. As Kyle Orland of Ars Technica reports:
When Titanfall finally sees its worldwide release next week, South Africa will not be among the countries to get a version of the game. Early this morning, EA South Africa announced via Facebook that it has decided to hold off on a local release after poor Internet performance during the game’s recent beta test. South Africa’s Gamezone reports that local preorders are being canceled both by Origin and area brick-and-mortar retailers.
“After conducting recent online tests for Titanfall, we found that the performance rates in South Africa were not as high as we need to guarantee a great experience, so we have decided not to release Titanfall in South Africa at this time,” the post reads. “We understand this is a disappointment for local fans and will keep fans posted on any future plans regarding the release of Titanfall in South Africa.”
Interestingly, the video game’s online servers are powered by Microsoft’s cloud service, Azure, and the closest data center to South Africa is in Brazil. While missing out on a video game is no big deal in the grand scheme of things (unless you were excited to play it), Titanfall‘s absence in South Africa highlights the challenges involved in building an international product that is dependent on a robust Internet infrastructure.
Over at Maximum Entropy, Bret Swanson (who is also an IIA Broadband Ambassador) digs through the 390 pages that make up the OECD’s annual Communications Outlook report. Noting that “in recent times the report has also served as a chance for some to misrepresent the relative health of international broadband markets,” Swanson writes:
The common refrain the past several years was that the U.S. had fallen way behind many European and Asian nations in broadband. The mantra that the U.S. is “15th in the world in broadband” — or 16th, 21st, 24th, take your pick — became a sort of common lament. Except it wasn’t true.
Swanson goes on to write that recent numbers from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index report reveal America leads the world when it comes to the amount of IP traffic generated and consume “both in per user and per capita terms.” That means, according the Swanson, that:
[I]t’s not possible for the U.S. to both lead the world by a large margin in Internet usage and lag so far behind in broadband. We think these traffic per user and per capita figures show that our residential, mobile, and business broadband networks are among the world’s most advanced and ubiquitous.
Swanson’s full post is worth checking out. The Communications Outlook report is available on the OECD’s website.
At CNet, Lance Whitney points to a new report from the International Telecommunication Union that finds the cost of broadband globally has dropped 50% in just the last two years. That’s the good news. But the drop in prices isn’t reaching every country:
Some of the countries that enjoy the lowest broadband prices relative to their high incomes include the U.S., Austria, Monaco, Macau (China), and Liechtenstein. In all, individuals in 31 highly industrialized countries tend to pay only around 1 percent of the gross national income per capita for basic broadband.
But in 32 countries, people pay more than half the average monthly income for basic broadband. And in a small number of developing countries, basic broadband is more than 10 times the monthly average income. Some of the countries where broadband is beyond the average salary include Tajikistan, Swaziland, Uzbekistan, and Papua New Guinea.